MCLE Self-Study Test

Answer the following questions after reading the article on workers' compensation. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.

1. Labor Code §5814 is to be construed liberally in favor of the injured worker.

2. A delay in medical treatment can result in an imposition of penalties against past medical treatment costs only, not against such future costs.

3. So long as the unreasonable delay is restricted to one type of benefit there can be only one 10 percent penalty imposed on that type of benefit.

4. Vocational rehabilitation temporary disability, or vocational rehabilitation maintenance allowance, is a separate species or benefits for purposes of penalties.

5. The burden of proof rests with the applicant to show the unreasonableness of the delay.

6. Defendants can deduct pre-award timely, voluntary payments from the class of benefits subject to penalties, thus reducing the base against which the overall penalty assessment is to be made.

7. An employer or carrier who makes an admittedly late payment of compensation in a post-1990 injury must pay a self-imposed penalty.

8. The only satisfactory excuse for a delay in payment of compensation is a genuine doubt, from either a medical or legal standpoint, as to liability for benefits.

9. An employer is justified in withholding benefits so long as there is any medical evidence which might support a finding of no liability for benefits.

10. An employer may be justified in not paying benefits where the amount involved is de minimus.

11. An employer or carrier's reasonable interpretation of unsettled law is a valid excuse for withholding payment of compensation.

12. Labor Code §4650 self-imposed penalties supersede Labor Code §5814 penalties.

13. The language in §5814 is not mandatory.

14. Applicants must give defendants notice of intent to seek multiple penalties.

15. A short, non-excessive delay brought about by administrative processing, clerical inadvertence or other internal business problems will always be deemed reasonable.

16. Where increased benefits have been ordered pursuant to Lab. Code §5814, and the defendant fails to compute and pay the penalty, an additional penalty is appropriate.

17. There will never be a penalty assessed during the preliminary investigative period.

18. Non-payment of interest on an award has been held to be a §5814 penalty.

19. Failure to adjust the temporary disability rate after two years, pursuant to Labor Code §4661.5, has been held to be unreasonable.

20. A writ denied case regarding penalties is not persuasive at the trial or Workers' Compensation Appeals Board level.